Open Enrollment and 2019 Benefits Plan Design Information Now Available

Open Enrollment, the annual period when University employees make their benefit choices for the coming year, begins Monday, Oct. 29, and continues through Friday, Nov. 9. This is the only time of year when participants may elect or change coverage for many benefits, unless they experience a qualifying life event.

In an Oct. 17 email to benefits eligible faculty and staff, Andrew R. Gordon, senior vice president and chief human resources officer, shared information and updates about the University benefits package for 2019. Some important highlights include the following:

  • For the second year in a row, employee per-paycheck contributions for the medical plan will remain the same.
  • There will be no increases to existing deductibles, copays or coinsurance for SUBlue, SUOrange or SUPro.
  • There will be reduced copays for outpatient treatment related to mental health and substance use in SUBlue and SUOrange.
  • Biofeedback services will be offered as a new benefit under the medical plan when deemed medically necessary by a prescribing physician.
  • There will be an expansion of the Dependent Care Subsidy, including a greater subsidy amount, an expansion of the age range of eligible dependents and an increase in the annual household income threshold used to determine faculty and staff eligibility. The application deadline for 2019 participation in the program is Dec. 7.
  • A new two-year commitment cycle for the University’s dental and vision plans will start Jan. 1, 2019.
  • Dental rates, set by Delta Dental, will increase for the first time in five years. However, the University will increase its annual dental subsidy of dental coverage from $100 to $110.
  • Vision rates will decrease by 4 percent, and the contact lens allowance will increase by $20 when using a VSP network provider.
  • Employee contributions for supplemental life insurance will decrease by 15 percent, and during this open enrollment only, employees may increase their supplemental life insurance coverage by one level (or elect the lowest increment if not currently participating), capped at $250,000, without requiring a statement of health.
  • Employee contributions for dependent life, supplemental AD&D, and voluntary long-term disability insurance will have no rate increases or plan design changes.

Beginning on Monday, Oct. 22, all of the relevant information—including plan and rate details, dates for information sessions and office hours, and answers to frequently asked questions—will be posted online at

Employees who have any immediate questions about Syracuse University benefits can contact the HR Service Center by phone at 315.443.4042 or by email at